Xanax Addiction: How To Spot a Problem

Xanax Addiction: How To Spot a Problem

In recent years, the term “Xanax” has been popularized in modern culture to a point where many people are desensitized to it. Xanax is not just a random street drug, and it’s definitely not something to laugh about.

Xanax, a benzodiazepine, is a prescription drug that helps anxiety but can sometimes be abused by the patient.

Spotting a drug addiction to Xanax can be difficult if you aren’t sure what you are looking for. Understanding the signs and learning ways to help someone struggling with a Xanax addiction could be the difference in them living a long and happy life.

What Is Xanax?

Xanax is a benzodiazepine (aka benzos) that can help people with behavioral health issues like severe anxiety disorders or panic disorders because of the calming effects it can have. The generic name for Xanax is alprazolam.

This drug is characterized as “fast-acting” and is classified as one of the most highly addictive drugs because of the brain alterations that it makes in such a short period of time.

That’s why this drug is only recommended for short periods of time — to help keep someone from experiencing a physical dependence on the drug. Even with this risk, it’s the most prescribed psychiatric drug in the United States because its effects are so impactful. With supervision and open communication, Xanax can be taken safely and does help many people overcome their everyday anxiety.

Many people who are prescribed Xanax do use it properly. This means the right amount of Xanax is taken for the right amount of time. Xanax works as expected and may never become an issue for the person. But that’s not always the case.

Some people take Xanax for the short-term yet fall into addiction quite easily, while others might have used it once or twice and began seeking it out from illegal sources.

What Are the Potential Positive Effects of Xanax?

Using Xanax produces many different effects to help support mental health, all of which aim to relax your body.

Xanax is a central nervous system depressant that helps to slow your body down. This prescription drug works by increasing the effects of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA. GABA promotes calmness in the body by decreasing the excitement in the brain that triggers panic attacks or anxiety.

Some effects that prescribed Xanax may have are:

  • Easing of muscle tension
  • Help with insomnia
  • Feelings of calm
  • Anxiety relief

What Are Some Unintended Side Effects of Xanax?

Like with any addictive drug, there are unwanted side effects that can come from using too much of the drug for too long or, as with any drug, from taking higher doses or too much in one sitting.

Some side effects to look out for are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Blurry vision
  • Lack of coordination
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Appetite changes
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive sweating
  • Constipation
  • Issues with memory
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Decline in mental health

Of course, not everyone will experience these side effects, but the more often you use Xanax can influence these reactions.

What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Xanax?

When someone is using Xanax, it is never a good idea to quit it cold turkey. This can be very dangerous for the user as your body has become accustomed to your benzodiazepine use. Some who quit Xanax without tapering off might be sent into shock without it.

Someone who is withdrawing from Xanax may experience:

  • Insomnia and trouble staying asleep
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Muscle cramps
  • Stomach cramps
  • Headaches
  • Irritability and anger

Some even more serious withdrawal symptoms that someone might experience are:

  • Delusions and delirium
  • Psychosis
  • Severe anxiety

If you are someone who has been prescribed Xanax, you should talk with your healthcare providers about coming up with a plan to reduce your usage instead of quitting on your own.

For those that get their Xanax illegally, you still generally not quit cold turkey. It might be more difficult to lower your dosage if you don’t have it readily available to you, so reaching out to addiction treatment centers can help you with the process.

Xanax and Sedative, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic Use Disorder

If Xanax abuse becomes prolonged, it can eventually lead to sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic use disorder. In order to be diagnosed with this disorder, you need to exhibit at least 2 out of 11 of the symptoms.

These symptoms include:

  • Repeated issues showing up for important events due to Xanax usage
  • Using Xanax in a hazardous setting
  • Wanting to stop using it but being unable to
  • Using Xanax even though it brings you distress and frustration
  • Spending a lot of time trying to obtain Xanax
  • Using Xanax for longer than prescribed or needed
  • Using despite one or more negative personal outcomes
  • Craving Xanax
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
  • Stopping participation in work, family, or social events
  • Building up a tolerance to Xanax so that you need more to feel the effects

These symptoms need to co-occur within a 12-month period for someone to be diagnosed with this disorder. It’s still classified as a substance use disorder. Fortunately, there is Xanax addiction treatment.

How To Recognize a Xanax Problem

Trying to recognize Xanax addiction is not always easy, as is with any substance abuse issue. If you don’t know what to look out for, you may never see the signs. If you are aware that someone you know is being prescribed Xanax, and you know they have addictive tendencies, don’t be afraid to reach out to see how they are doing.

As helpful as Xanax may be for mental wellness, it can become a slippery slope into addiction for some people.

Xanax is commonly prescribed to people. It’s typically easy to get, which makes it that much easier for it to potentially cause a problem.

College-age students are at higher risk of coming into possession of Xanax without having a prescription. Some people might think that it is a “fun” drug to use and mix with other substances, but it can be deadly to combine Xanax with other drugs like opioids and alcohol.

Signs of Xanax Abuse

There are different ways for you to recognize whether or not someone is struggling with Xanax addiction. No two people will present their symptoms or issues in the same way, but Xanax has certain effects that might be prevalent.

If you think that someone you love is struggling with an addiction to Xanax, consider reaching out to representatives at Soba Recovery Center to voice your concerns and come up with a plan for treatment.

Find others who love and support this person and try to have a safe and open conversation about your concerns and their wellbeing. Choose friends or family who can contribute to a judgment-free zone to better encourage someone with a benzodiazepine addiction to seek help.

Withdrawn From Family and Friends

Someone who is struggling with Xanax addiction might find that they are avoiding facing their friends and family. They might begin to feel intense shame or guilt over their usage and don’t want to face their loved ones.

Sometimes facing people who know you best is difficult because they know what to look out for. It’s harder to pretend everything is okay. A person who is addicted to Xanax may become defensive about their addiction. Loved ones without the right tools or resources in place may unknowingly create more tension.

Needing More Xanax To Feel the Effects

As someone becomes more dependent on Xanax, their tolerance will go up. If you notice that someone is using more Xanax than they are prescribed or using it every day without a prescription, they may have a problem.

A person’s body adapts to Xanax. Over time, someone might find that they need more Xanax to feel the same way. This pattern can lead to an addiction.

If you or someone you love begins to take more Xanax without medical supervision, it could lead to an addiction. Tolerance is one of the easiest ways to determine whether or not someone has an addiction to Xanax.

Experiencing Financial Issues

Someone who is struggling with Xanax might need more Xanax than they are prescribed, which could lead to illegal sourcing. This can be dangerous for many reasons. Many Xanax pills that are bought off the street aren’t actual Xanax pills, which could lead to a dangerous situation. Additionally, it can be quite expensive to keep up with a Xanax addiction.

A loved one might ask you for money or show signs of financial distress when using Xanax improperly. It’s important to pick up on these subtle signs to determine whether or not someone is in need of addiction treatment.

Having Erratic Emotions

A sign of Xanax abuse is emotional instability. A person who has a Xanax addiction might have intense mood swings, become easily irritable, and sometimes become aggressive. Someone who is using Xanax may be emotionally unpredictable, which can be alarming.

You may feel like you’re walking on eggshells around them, trying to anticipate their next mood swing.

Someone struggling with their addiction might also experience severe depression and suicidal thoughts, especially if they are trying to cut back on their usage and stop altogether. The process is not easy, and it can feel isolating. Showing support to your loved ones who are struggling can help encourage them to seek treatment.

Getting Help with Soba Recovery

Xanax addiction is not something people can typically overcome on their own. They need a safe place to detox, find support, and get the right addiction treatment.

At Soba Recovery Centers in San Antonio, Texas, you’ll receive professional addiction treatment geared specifically to your personal needs. 

If you are struggling with Xanax withdrawal symptoms, you can enter into a detoxification treatment that will safely allow you to come off of the drug. Afterward, there are both inpatient and outpatient services available, depending on your treatment needs.

Whether you are looking for sober living in a supportive community atmosphere or need intense treatment that allows more freedom like partial hospitalization, we have got you covered.

Addiction is not a choice. It’s scary, difficult, and debilitating. Get back to feeling like yourself again. If you or a loved one need assistance overcoming Xanax addiction, reach out today and learn more about what Soba has to offer.

 

Sources:

Alprazolam (Xanax) | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

A Review of Alprazolam Use, Misuse, and Withdrawal | NCBI

Sedative, Hypnotic or Anxiolytic Drug Use Disorder | Harvard Health

How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted to Meth?

How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted to Meth?

Methamphetamines are nothing to joke about. It is a dangerous substance. Any amount of meth use is too much meth use.

If you’re concerned about someone and aren’t sure if it’s due to meth addiction, keep reading to learn more about the drug, its effects, and how long it can take someone to become addicted to it.

What Is Meth?

Meth, otherwise known as methamphetamine, is a highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system in a person’s brain.

You may hear other names for meth, including:

  • Crystal meth
  • Speed
  • Zoom
  • Crank
  • Glass
  • Rock candy
  • Crystal

Meth was created by combining amphetamine and other chemicals over a century ago. In fact, meth was originally prescribed as a decongestant and a weight loss aid. It didn’t take long to notice that meth was a highly addictive drug and an extreme danger to people.

Methamphetamine use is unlike alcohol or marijuana. Most people can use these substances without them turning into an addiction. Alcohol and marijuana can be safe in small quantities in controlled environments.

Meth, however, is a serious drug that can lead to addiction, ongoing health issues, and even death. 

Meth users don’t usually start off using meth as their first drug. It’s often a drug that comes after experimenting with other kinds of drugs. Sometimes people turn to meth once other hard drugs stop producing the high they crave.

The effects of meth are strong and intense, usually more so than other drugs. If someone has built up a tolerance to a different substance, meth might still be able to give them the high that they are looking for.

You can ingest crystal meth through injections, swallowing a pill, snorting it, and smoking it. It might look different depending on the ingredients used to create it, like little shards of glass or an odorless powder, with colors ranging from pink to white to brown.

It’s one of the most addictive substances you could get your hands on. Any use of meth is considered abuse.

What Are the Effects of Meth?

When you smoke or inject meth, you experience an initial “rush” of euphoria that increases your heart rate and blood pressure while enhancing pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters. When you snort meth, you experience the euphoria but not the “rush.”

Injecting meth produces the most intense feelings. The stimulant effects can last for 30 minutes, followed by a steady high that lasts anywhere from eight hours to a full day. Many people who use meth will be high for several days before coming down.

Some effects of meth use are:

  • Paranoia
  • Elation
  • Alertness
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Aggression
  • Talkativeness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Agitation
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Tremors
  • Irritability
  • Irregular heartbeat

How Long Is Meth in Your System?

Meth can last up to 24 hours in your blood, creating the feeling of being high. Depending on how you take it, it might affect you more rapidly. An injection is the quickest way to become high.

It can remain in your urine between four days and one week and up to 90 days in your hair. Though it might not make you high during these extended periods on its own, the impact that meth can have on your health long-term is still there.

What Is the History of Meth?

There was one point in history when the effects and impacts of amphetamines were unknown. Since its creation over a century ago, meth has been used legally, though not for very long. During this time of uncertainty, right as this drug was being created, meth tablets were being distributed to German soldiers during World War II so that they could fight all day and night.

Military amphetamine was also available to American and British soldiers to help them fight off fatigue and boost their overall morale. Unfortunately, it also led to violent behavior.

Afterward, amphetamine was prescribed as Benzedrine to treat colds and asthma and began to be used recreationally during the 1950s. This then began a domino effect of substance abuse. The side effects of anger and aggression quickly became apparent.

In 1971, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (USDEA) made amphetamines a Schedule II controlled substance because of their risk for abuse and dependence. Still, there is. Desoxyn –the pure form of methamphetamine that occasionally will be prescribed to someone who is struggling with ADHD. Regardless, it’s still highly monitored and poses a risk for substance use disorder.

Can You Become Addicted After One Use?

In order to be diagnosed with an addiction, there needs to be repeated misuse of a substance. Therefore, by the definition of “addiction,” you can’t technically be addicted to meth after just one use.

However, meth is a highly addictive substance, and using it once can cause you to crave more. It is very easy to become addicted to meth, which is why some people believe you can become addicted after just one use.

Once you start using meth, it becomes difficult to stop. Your body is constantly chasing a high that can only be reached by using methamphetamines. Without meth addiction treatment, you can spiral into severe meth addiction.

What Are the Signs of Meth Addiction?

Once a person becomes addicted to meth, there are some things you might begin to notice. Of course, there are immediate side effects of meth that are noticeable when you’re in the presence of someone using meth, but meth addiction has more social and financial effects.

If you believe someone is struggling with a meth addiction, you might notice some of the following:

  • Bouts of paranoia
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Burn marks
  • Skin sores
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Rapid eye movement
  • Facial tics
  • Abnormal sleep patterns
  • Twitching
  • Financial strain
  • Hiding from friends and family
  • Missing social gatherings
  • Struggling to retain a job
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Decline in mental health
  • Increased body temperature
  • Wakefulness
  • Dry mouth

If you notice any of these signs in someone or are experiencing them yourself, it might be time to reach out and enter into addiction treatment. You can improve your well-being with the right professional help.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Meth Addiction?

Using meth over an extended period of time will result in multiple unwanted side effects. Like any substance abuse, it starts to catch up with both your mind and body. Identifying your issues with meth early can help you avoid many of these outcomes.

We understand it is difficult to ask for help. There is a lot of stigma around meth use and addiction. Opening up about your struggles is never easy. That’s where Soba Recovery Center comes in. No one should suffer through the long-term effects of meth addiction.

After all, the long-term effects of meth abuse are frightening. People who develop skin sores might pick and scratch at them, making them more susceptible to infection. Long-time use of meth can also result in severe tooth decay and gum disease (otherwise known as “meth mouth”.)

Many people lose their teeth if they do not get treated soon enough for their addiction. If you snort meth, you are more likely to develop chronic nosebleeds from damage to your sinus cavities and nasal passages.

People who inject meth can suffer from collapsed veins and put themselves at more risk of developing a blood-borne pathogenic disease, such as HIV or AIDS, as a result of sharing needles. Additionally, people who use meth are at a higher risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease than others.

Meth already increases heart rate and blood pressure, but extended use of meth can lead to serious heart problems later on in life. Meth usage can lead to stroke or a heart attack because it overwhelms the system, especially when used in high quantities. Meth has a negative effect on the brain and the dopamine in a person’s body when used long-term.

Other long-term effects of meth use to look out for are:

  • Inability to complete daily tasks
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sleep issues
  • Psychosis
  • Organ damage
  • Delusions
  • Impulsivity
  • Heart failure
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Loss of close relationships
  • Homelessness
  • Financial issues

What Are the Drugs Often Used With Meth?

If you are using meth, it’s likely that you are also struggling with other substances. You might be using them at the same time as meth, which can be very dangerous.

Mixing drugs with meth can create an even more intense feeling. If this drug mixing occurs due to tolerance to meth, finding ways to experiment with the high is an unfortunate reality. It can lead to death.

Alcohol

Alcohol and meth work somewhat opposite of each other. Alcohol is a depressant and meth is a stimulant. Using both at the same time often results in a person drinking more as the effects of alcohol are masked by the effects of meth.

When you use both at the same time, you increase your risk factors for things like liver failure, hallucinations, cancer, and even sudden death.

Opioids

A “speedball” is when someone combines both opioids and meth to create an ultra-intense high that is hard to replicate otherwise. For daily users, this is something that might give them a shot at a new level of high that they are searching for.

But, when these substances are combined, it is more likely to cause that person to overdose. Speedballs greatly limit a person’s ability to function, increasing the risk that they will injure themselves or others.

Xanax

People who use meth frequently are known to experience some level of anxiety. Xanax is commonly prescribed for people with anxiety and panic disorders and is used to offset the effects of meth. So, while meth might make you feel anxious and sad, Xanax helps alleviate those feelings of stress.

This combination can lead to serious heart problems including heart failure. Meth speeds your heart up while Xanax slows it down, so they are constantly fighting with each other to overpower one another. Over time, this can cause damage to your heart.

What Is the Treatment for Meth Addiction?

Meth addiction is often severe, and there is no easy way to “cure” it. However, when you enter into addiction treatment, you are giving yourself the best chance at recovery.

You will need professional healthcare assistance to overcome meth cravings. Trying to become sober from meth use can be fatal. That’s why we offer a variety of different treatment options, so you can find something that works for you.

Treatment programs for meth addiction will likely involve a detox. Trying to quit meth on your own can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms. With detoxification treatment, you get 24/7 surveillance and access to medical professionals to help keep you safe during your meth withdrawal.

Afterward, you can move on to either an inpatient or partial hospitalization program to begin working on other aspects of your addiction. It’s not just about drug use. Behavioral health is an essential part of treatment that can help set you up for sobriety in the future.

Get Help at Soba Recovery Center

If you’re wondering where you can get this kind of treatment, look no further. Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, can offer you the support you need to overcome meth addiction with both inpatient and outpatient services.

Admitting you have a meth addiction can be scary. Don’t let your fear hold you back from living your best life. If you feel like you lack support from the people around you, finding community through group therapy and sober living at Soba Recovery Center can help change your outlook on recovery.

Get the sense of community you need and the support of health professionals who care. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with meth abuse or addiction, reach out to Soba Recovery Center. The sooner you seek help, the quicker you can start feeling like yourself again.

 

Sources:

Methamphetamine | DEA

Current Research on Methamphetamine: Epidemiology, Medical and Psychiatric Effects, Treatment, and Harm Reduction Efforts | NCBI

What are the Long-term Effects of Methamphetamine Misuse? | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

​​How Methamphetamine Became a Key Part of Nazi Military Strategy | TIME

How To Help Someone With Drug Addiction and Depression

How To Help Someone With Drug Addiction and Depression

People who are addicted to substances and deal with depression have two forces working against them at all times. Substances are often used to ease the pain of mental health conditions like depression.

If you get stuck in a cycle where your substance of choice is the only thing that feels like it alleviates your depression symptoms, it’s easy to fall into full-blown drug addiction.

Recognizing the signs that someone you know might be struggling with both, and offering up your support and guidance to the right resources, can lead to someone getting treatment. To do that, you need to understand depression, its causes and signs, and the symptoms that go with it. Then you can learn about ways to intervene and help out — while avoiding a strain on your relationship.

What Is Drug Addiction and Depression?

Drug addiction, or substance use disorder, is a chronic disorder that disrupts your daily functioning because of compulsive drug-seeking behaviors. People who struggle with drug addiction become reliant on how that drug makes them feel. They will often do whatever is necessary to get ahold of more.

When occasional recreational substance use becomes an addiction, people can experience both mental and physical decline.

Depression is a mental disorder that impacts people both physically and mentally. Depending on the drug and the frequency, mental health and behavioral changes can range from minor to severe. It doesn’t take long for these drugs to impact how you function and take care of yourself.

You might not care that much about your own well-being, leading to risky behaviors that harm yourself and others. Many people with depression find themselves experiencing a lack of motivation, an inability to care for themselves properly, and a general disinterest in their own lives and the lives of others.

When someone is struggling with one of these disorders alone, it can be difficult, but together, the combination can potentially become fatal that much faster. Unfortunately, these two conditions often go hand-in-hand. Of course, these actions cause a rift in long-term relationships. But there is hope.

How Do They Connect?

There are a few crossovers between depression and drug addiction. You don’t always become addicted to drugs due to your depression, or vice versa, but it does happen. People who suffer from substance use disorder are more likely to be depressed because what comes with addiction can be very difficult.

Addiction can cause a loss of friends and family, financial struggle, and even homelessness. The reality of drug addiction can cause someone to experience situations they never imagined for themselves, which often leads to further feelings of hopelessness. Drug addiction causes increasing isolation from the positive things and people that matter and can cause depressive symptoms to keep spiraling downward.

People who are depressed might look to self-medication in order to limit some of their symptoms. For instance, many people who struggle with depression will use alcohol to forget and numb the pain or marijuana to provide some sort of relief from the stress of life. Again, the two are not mutually exclusive, but treating one without the other might not always provide the best results.

How Can You Tell if Someone Needs Help?

If a close friend or family member is beginning to show signs of either depression or drug addiction, it isn’t always so obvious. Everyone can express these signs in different ways. Not all depressed or drug-addicted people behave the same way. However, there are a few different signs that might come to light in regards to your friend’s well-being.

These are a few of the more common signs of addiction and depression:

  • A person might begin to withdraw from friends and family.
  • They might become easily irritated and angered, snapping out of nowhere.
  • They might not speak to you for days, weeks, or even months, seemingly disappearing.
  • Not showing up for events or gatherings without being under the influence.
  • Missing work, school, or other important events.
  • Having erratic sleep schedules and more frequent health issues.
  • Asking for money or showing other signs that they are struggling financially.

How To Help

If you recognize that someone you love might be in need of support and assistance, figuring out how you can help is the hardest part. Everyone is different and reacts to support and the idea of seeking treatment in different ways.

For the best outcome, it’s important that you don’t imply or state that you are angry or disappointed with them, but rather that you love and want to help them. You may not understand what your loved one is going through, but you can still offer your non-judgemental support.

Asking for help is sometimes impossible, and while a person might not appreciate it at the moment, offering help that someone desperately needs is always worthwhile in the end. There are a few ways that you can help someone who is struggling with drug addiction and depression without bombarding and overwhelming them.

Understand that not everyone is going to immediately jump at the idea of entering into an inpatient rehab program. However, showing them the options that are available to them can help plant the seed to get them started in the right direction when they feel ready.

Show Support

Being a shoulder to lean on, offering your time, and letting people talk are just a few ways for you to show support. Showing up for your loved one is what they truly need right now. Both depression and drug addiction can be isolating diseases. Knowing someone is in your corner can make the fight worth it.

No one likes the symptoms of depression or being addicted to drugs for the entirety of their life. Getting out of these conditions alone is not always possible.

Suggest a sober living environment to detox and move forward in a safe place. Attend support meetings with your loved one, help them find the right professionals that can hold them accountable for their actions, and check in to let them know that you are thinking of them during the long road to recovery.

Find a Treatment Center

Not everyone who struggles with both depression and drug addiction has the energy to look for treatment centers. They may lack the energy or motivation to even get out of bed and start their day.

Offer a list of substance abuse treatment centers to make sobriety and treatment feel possible. Find a place that will take into consideration the needs of your loved one and address your concerns, as well as create a personalized treatment plan to guide you and yours to success.

A treatment center that will truly help will have many options for treatment, including detoxification treatments and partial hospitalization. Your loved one’s struggles will not be the same as yours, so talking with these centers about their treatment can help pinpoint what might be the most impactful way to spur them to action.

Getting Help at Soba Recovery

When your friend enters the Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, they can be sure to get personalized plans geared to their needs. Drug addiction and depression need to be treated both separately and together in order to get to the root of the problem and come up with working solutions. You cannot treat one without the other.

With both inpatient and outpatient services, we can work with your loved one to figure out what treatment plan will address the issues at hand while we work toward sober living. Medical professionals and therapists are available at all times when help is needed. Those with severe addiction are monitored 24/7.

If Soba Texas seems like a place they’d like to be, reach out to a representative and discuss all of their options. Of course, once we get to know your loved one better, we can come up with a plan that fits their situation to help ensure long-lasting success.

 

Sources:

Drug Misuse and Addiction | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Depression | NIMH

Part 1: The Connection Between Substance Use Disorders and Mental Illness | National Institute on Drug Abuse